Adult Coloring Books: An artistic way to de-stress

Megan Conley, Lifestyle Editor

 Picture by Megan Conley

Picture by Megan Conley

As college students age, they find themselves having to become more of an adult each day. From paying taxes to getting a job, adulthood is looming around every corner.

However, it seems that embracing one’s inner child can actually produce health benefits.

In recent years, the trend of coloring books for adults has gained momentum and become widely popular. Large companies, like Crayola, have come out with their own line of these adult-friendly crafting books.

While this phenomenon seems to be a new fad, artistic outlets similar to these have actually been around for years. Zac Buser, Professor of Art at North Greenville University, offered insight as to the history of adult coloring books.

“What comes to mind that is very direct in the history of art would be paint-by-numbers, which were wildly popular in the '60s and '70s, even into the early '80s, and people would do that just to relax,” said Buser.

Much like paint-by-numbers, adult coloring books come in different styles and with different patterns, but they leave the creativity up to the user. 

Though this premise of art geared for adults may not be new, the coloring books have gained popularity in recent years, most notably for their health benefits.

According to the Huffington Post, the practice of coloring, for adults, “generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.”

This method of sitting down after a long, stressful day and simply coloring a picture creates a calming atmosphere in which the user has to exert little effort for the activity, which is a great way to de-stress. 

The Huffington Post also stated that the coloring books remind participants of their childhood, which can create a nostalgic and relaxed environment.

According to CNN, research done in 2005 showed that when participants colored geometric patterns inside a frame, their anxiety levels dropped.

Even if someone doesn’t feel they have artistic potential, these books still offer a great outlet to alleviate stressors.

“Art must serve some purpose. If someone is sitting down and they have had a busy day and want to push some color around on a page, it will serve that end,” said Buser.